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I've been searching but I can't find relevant info. I'm actually filming, but figured the problem's still there in photography. I also don't know where else to ask.

Does anyone know what can be done? What do news shows do to their TVs so they look right on camera?

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6 Answers 6

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This is caused by the difference in white balance between your ambient light and the television. I am assuming you are filming indoors with tungsten lighting, which means the white balance of your light is at a yellower point than that of your television. Your camera will automatically adjust to match the white balance of the ambient light, leaving the television looking blue.

In a television studio, the lighting will be of the same white balance as the TV monitors you can see. You have a few options here:

  • Get hold of some studio lighting that is closer to daylight white balance.
  • Adjust the white balance of the TV screen to match your ambient lighting. If this is not possible you may be able to use a computer monitor in its place.
  • Use as much daylight as possible. You haven't said what specifically you're filming so it's hard to know whether this is practical.
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 - Another option is to gel the lights, if possible. It doesn't even have to be perfect, just adding blue to the ambient light will allow for more accurate white balance on the TVs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Aug 2, 2011 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ we have a closed set, so daylight ain't happening. Our tv's white balance, in it's warmest setting (barely warm, that is), still looks bluish. We also can't modify the lights we have. I was asking because I was sure that tv shows with screens in the set modified their tv's. \$\endgroup\$
    – navand
    Aug 2, 2011 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think it's more likely they use daylight WB lights. Many of them have windows that look out onto daylight, which would look odd with tungsten-adjusted cameras (as blue as your TV). \$\endgroup\$
    – user456
    Aug 2, 2011 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about "geling" the TV screen?, If that's not possible, maybe you can process the signal that is being displayed in the TV. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jahaziel
    Aug 3, 2011 at 15:43
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Another approach for still photography, if the ambient lighting is out of your control, is to shoot the scene in RAW, produce two copies with white balance corrected for the TV and ambient light respectively, then comp them together in Photoshop using layer masks. (The rectangular TV screen makes for a really easy masking job.) I have no idea if this can be done with video footage though.

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    \$\begingroup\$ p.s. I appreciate the question asked specifically for video solutions, but this is a photography forum after all, with the aim of producing Q&As useful to more than just the original questioner. :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 2, 2011 at 21:14
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When filming from a tripod, there is the cheat of separately recording the video content directly from HDMI (or whatever) and then splicing it over the real TV using the "corner pin" functionality of your video editing software (or OBS scene setup for live takes). Essentially that allows you to map the corners of your TV footage to the corners of the screen. That gives excellent quality at whatever white balance you desire.

Also allows things like "holographic" semi-translucent screens in mid-air. Probably not good for documentation, but sometimes a nice creative option.

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I find if the phone is further away from the screen, the colour returns to normal. Also try different colour modes on the TV for the best results. The phone is more sensitive to light frequencies. You cant see infrared, but your phones cam can. Try it. Use your IF remote, watch the IF LED, you see nothing, watch it through your phone cam, now you do.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Where does a phone come into this? The question only mentions a television. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2022 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TobySpeight it's probably safe to assume that the phone mentioned is the camera, as most photography today is done via smartphones. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Jan 14, 2022 at 0:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then why not just say camera and avoid the confusion? I'd never think of a phone being a camera (in fact, AIUI, that seems to be a thing only for those who have mobile phones). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2022 at 13:24
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Try using a different make of camera.

It's the software set up on the camera that's causing this.

I have this problem with a Google pixel phone camera but not with a Samsung Galaxy I have.

My Panasonic Lumix digital camera also has no problem shooting TV screens be it photo or video.

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Yes you can adjust tint on the screen. Vizio HDTVs give you the ability to adjust the television's picture to suit your needs. The various settings that can help you to djust include the picture's brightness, contrast, color, sharpness and tint.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this actually answers the question, and I'm a bit curious about the specific reference to Visio HDTV's... \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Oct 20, 2011 at 6:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's a spam post intended to sell TVs. But the suggestion is interesting: make the TV's color temperature very warm, to match the ambient lighting. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Dec 12, 2011 at 13:03

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